This, the 8th Edition, is a vatting of 23 bourbon barrels and 7 oloroso sherry butts filled between 2008 and 2012, bottled at 50% ABV. A total of 12,000 bottles have been released worldwide.
The 8th Edition 100% Islay can trace its origins to the fertile soil of the Kilchoman barley fields. It was here that the distillery harvested Optic barley between 2007 and 2011. Once harvested the barley was hand malted, peated and distilled before being matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. The combination of cask types allowing for an elegant balance of rich spices, citrus sweetness and earthy peat smoke. The 8th Edition 100% Islay was born, bottled on site without colouring or chill-filtration, standing alone as Islay’s only Single Farm Single Malt, 100% Islay – from barley to bottle.
Though the name might suggest a heavier peating level than Kilchoman’s standard 50ppm offerings, the 100% Islay range is in fact peated to a lower level of roughly 20ppm though this is not an exact measurement given the small batches and old-style techniques make it almost impossible to peat each batch to exactly the same level.
The key difference between this and previous batches of the 100% Islay is the addition of sherry cask maturation. The seven oloroso sherry casks included in the vatting give the whisky added depth and richness compared to previous editions.